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Previewed 7 February 2006, Opened 9 February 2006, Closed 18 March 2006 at the Playhouse Theatre in London
A major revival of Pauline Macaulay's The Creeper in London starring Ian Richardson and directed by Bill Bryden.
Pauline Macaulay's The Creeper is a psychological thriller about a young opportunist who inveigles his way into the home of a prosperous if eccentric member of the landed gentry with fascinating results. Dark secrets emerge as the younger man, skilfully concealing his shady past, begins to exert his power and challenge the status quo.
The cast for The Creeper in London features Ian Richardson as 'Edward Kimberly' along with Oliver Dimsdale as 'Maurice', Alan Cox as 'Michael', Robert Styles and Harry Towb. It is directed by Bill Bryden with designs by Hayden Griffin and lighting by Mich Hughes.
"At first, you wonder why Ian Richardson chose The Creeper for his West End return, a 1960s country-house piece about a filthy-rich, sexless eccentric who employs weird young men as his live-in companions. But Pauline Macaulay's 1965 play darkens and sharpens as it goes on... Imagine Agatha Christie collaborating with Joe Orton, Jean Genet and Robin Maugham (The Servant) and you will have an idea of its plush-decadent-sadistic-melancholy tone, part hothouse masquerade, part murder story." The Sunday Times
"[A} lame psychological thriller... The saving grace is Ian Richardson, a pleasure to watch whether he's showing off his lilac socks, taking tea or preparing to meet his maker, all of which he does while exuding a cologne of effete civilisation through every upper-class pore." The Sunday Telegraph
"The creeper is killing the tree,' says Edward Kimberley, Ian Richardson's lilac sock-wearing old queen, looking out into his wild garden during an interview for a new companion. Trouble is, eccentric Edward loves the creeper too much to cut it down. This is how Pauline Macaulay sets up her clunkingly awful little 1964 play. It is misleadingly billed as a psychological thriller, but the characters display negligible mental activity and the absence of tension is almost an achievement. It's a case of spot who is the creeper and who is the tree... Richardson, the high master of the acid tone and the sinister, superior glance, must surely have bills to pay. Why else would he submit to dressing up as a Red Indian for a spot of archery? He still has the talent to amuse, which, given some of his lines ('What do you think of fishnet vests?'), is something of a triumph. But why waste it on such piffle?" The Mail on Sunday
"What could have possessed Ian Richardson - famous for his 'I couldn't possibly comment' comment as rascally politician Francis Urquhart in TV's House Of Cards - to decide to star in this creaky thriller? Richardson, of course, gives a masterly performance as a camp millionaire whose new young male companion (Oliver Dimsdale) turns out to be a violent nutter. But Pauline Macaulay's 1965 play never really grips and the usually inspired direction of Bill Bryden fails to crank up the suspense. Creepy, but disappointing." The Sun
The Creeper in London at the Playhouse Theatre previewed from 7 February 2006, opened on 9 February 2006 and closed on 18 March 2006